NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court Friday issued notice to the central and state governments and union territory administrations on a plea seeking enhancement of compensation to acid attack victims from the existing Rs.3 lakh to Rs.10 lakh coupled with free medical treatment that involves a series of surgeries.
The central government is not active in addressing the issue, observed a bench of Chief Justice R.M. Lodha, Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman as it issued notice returnable in six weeks.
The court was told that some of the state government were not even paying Rs.3 lakh compensation to acid attack victims.
"Every day many incident of acid attacks were taking place," the court said as senior counsel Colin Gonsalves told the court that the central government as well as many states have not taken adequate steps to ensure justice for acid attack survivors with speedy investigations and trials, adequate medical care or just compensation.
The petitioners, NGOs Parivartan Kendra and Campaign and Struggle Against Acid Attacks on Women, urged the court that the cost of the treatment of acid attack victims should be borne by the state governments as the victim has to undergo 10 surgeries in the course of the expensive and prolonged treatment.
Seeking setting up of special wards in the hospitals for the treatment of acid attack victims, the NGOs sought direction to the private hospitals not to refuse the acid attack victims merely on the grounds of their private status.
They have sought comprehensive rehabilitation of the acid attack victim that included extending housing facilities, employment and education at all levels.
The PIL also sought witness protection in order to ensure that acid attack victim was saved from any further harassment.